MicroRNA regulation of natural killer cell development and function in leukemia.

Saultz JN, Freud AG, Mundy-Bosse BL
Mol Immunol in press 08/09/2018


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are now recognized as important regulators of all cellular processes, including immune function and cancer survival. These evolutionary preserved, single-stranded, non-coding RNA molecules mediate important functional effects primarily through post-transcriptional regulation of protein expression. MiRNAs are known to mediate multiple oncogenic pathways in tumor cells, both tumor promoting and tumor suppressing. In addition to a direct tumor cell effect, miRNAs have also been shown to play a critical role in immune cell development, function and survival. Here we expand on previous reports to evaluate miRNA regulation in natural killer (NK) cells primarily in humans and focus on their influence on NK cell development and function in the setting of hematologic malignancies. In addition, we highlight the most recent miRNA discoveries in hematologic malignancies and discuss areas of future exploration relevant to the translational field of innate immunology and miRNA-based therapeutic intervention.

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